By Fred Kaweesi
(January 11- February 1)
Uganda v Burkina Faso
Zimbabwe v Uganda
Morocco v Uganda
Cranes’ Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) preparations seem to be taking a wrong turn at the wrong time.
Apart from cancelling an interesting friendly request against South Africa Sunday, the Cranes might find themselves in an unpleasant situation of spending more time at airport lobbies than preparing for their first Group B fixture against Burkina Faso on Sunday.
According to reliable sources, Cranes travel plans have reportedly been set for Thursday —barely 48 hours before their first fixture.
And since the team plans to use Ethiopia Airlines, there is a possibility that the contingent will spend more hours switching flights in Addis Ababa and Johannesburg before arriving at their final destination in Cape Town.
When Cranes head coach Micho Sredojevic was consulted on what effects such an arrangement could have on the team, he seemed to be more bothered that his side had missed out on a golden opportunity of assessing themselves against South Africa.
“The travel plans are being handled by other people and not me. All I can say is that I received a call from Gordon Igesund (the South Africa coach) requesting me for a trial game but that is not possible because the visas might be out on Tuesday,” said Micho.
“That game would have really helped us. I need to confirm the travel arrangements although I heard Thursday” Five months ago, Micho spoke about plans of holding a training base in South Africa, two weeks before the CHAN tournament.
However, due to unknown reasons, the Serb has not been able to achieve that. All that Cranes have had is a friendly against Mauritania which offered a glimpse of the side Micho intends to roll out for the first game against Burkina Faso.
With exception of the uncertainty of who could lead the attacking line, the rest of the side picks itself. Goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan will be considered ahead of Ali Kimera behind a back-four of Isaac Muleme (left) and Nicholas Wadada (right), and central defence pair of Richard Kasagga and Savio Kabugo.
Ivan Ntege was excellent against Mauritania but considering his pint-size; Hassan Wasswa might be preferred alongside Denis Iguma. Brian Majwega and Vincent Kayizzi will then occupy the wide areas.